Teri Vance: Cleaning up the environment, my life

Muscle Powered’s mob of cleaning volunteers is clearing the Linear Ditch Trail this morning as part of the Trash Mob, organized by Randy Gaa.

“Litter has always gotten under my skin,” he said. “As opposed to just complaining about it, I started doing something about it.”

The Trash Mob, similar to a flash mob, sees volunteers gather at a particular site on the third Saturday of the month.

In July, the mob cleaned the paved path along the freeway on the north side of town.

“We got an entire pickup truck full of trash out of there,” Gaa said.

In September, they cleared the Lone Mountain Trail near the cemetery and removed more than 100 pounds of trash, he said.

Anyone interested in joining today’s mob should meet on the corner of Butti Way and Fifth Street at 8 a.m. 

“We’ll make our way west on the paved path toward Fremont Elementary School and Saliman Road, cleaning up as much trash as we can get in an hour,” said Gaa, a member of Muscle Powered.

He said other organizations, including Carson City Parks and Recreation and Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful have offered services as well.

Gaa, who also volunteers cleaning up trash for the BLM, cited studies where smaller crimes in an area can encourage larger crimes. He said cleaning up our environment sends a message.

“If an area is cleaned up, people don’t come in and litter,” he said. “It’s going to discourage antisocial behavior in general. It’s not only making it prettier, but it’s making it safer for everybody who lives here.” 

• • •

Speaking of cleaning up, I have a confession to make. I’m often a mess.

When I left my regular job in January, there was a lot to consider, so I just put the task of getting health insurance on a shelf. (I wouldn’t recommend that as a stress-management style).

But now that the end of the year is approaching — open enrollment begins in November — I made an effort to get on the ball.

Since I have no idea what I’m doing, I met with Aaron Ware, an independent insurance agent with Jewels Benefits, Inc. We went over my options and we’ll meet again in November to sign up.

What a relief.

As an independent agent, Ware is paid by the insurance agencies, rather than the client.

“You get representation basically for free,” he explained.

As your agent, he said, he’ll help you go through the exchange and make the right decision for you. He’ll also be there to help explain benefits in the future.

“I’m an advocate for you through the entire year,” he said. “And if something happens, do you want to call customer service, or do you want to call a person? Most people, myself included, would want to call a person.”

If you need help with your insurance, too, give Ware a call at (775) 881-8796.

Or if you know of other services who help with the insurance process, let me know. I’ll put it in my column and all of us procrastinators can get our acts together.


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